Increased business travel could boost Ruby Tuesday

 

Ruby Tuesday’s stock price has been on a downward spiral since the first of the year as the recovery has slowed and higher gasoline prices have taken a bite out of consumer budgets.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday

But there is reason to expect better times ahead for the Maryville, Tenn.-based company.

“Chains like The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. and Ruby Tuesday Inc. could benefit from the return of business travel,” the Associated Press reported today, citing two Keybanc analysts.

 

Analysts Brad Ludington and John Dravenstott reiterated “Buy” ratings on Ruby Tuesday and several other restaurant companies, including Lebanon Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.

In addition to an expected increase in business travel, the Keybanc analysts noted that gas prices have started to decline in recent days, giving restaurant customers “a little extra money and more economic confidence.”

Ruby Tuesday investors certainly hope the Keybanc guys are right. RT shares were trading around $10.50 this afternoon, well off the 52-week high of $15.57.

Forbes.com: Not all is gloomy for restaurants, analysts say